Tag: Durban

MV Doulos. A personal view

I was fortunate that when I returned from my first cruise on the Achille Lauro in January 1987, there was another ship in the harbour to visit before I headed off back to Johannesburg.
 
While the Achille Lauro is no spring chicken, this oldie made her look young, built in 1914 as the SS Medina, the MV Doulos was the oldest active ocean faring passenger ship in the world until she was retired in 2009.
 
She was under the ownership of GBA (Good Books for All), a German Christian based charity that operates floating bookshops. Calling in Durban, the Doulos was berthed at Maiden Wharf from 11 Dec –  6 Jan,  and I was fortunate enough to go on board her. However, once again I was restricted by how much film I had, so images are scarce of this oldie. But, I think the pics I took on that occasion are probably the best.
 
GBA Official postcard

GBA Official postcard

There is no way that you could look at her and not see how old she was, inspite of the numerous alterations she endured over the years.
 
 
 
That beautiful old stern was a definite give away, it was the type of stern usually associated with sailing ships.
 
Doulos did not always look like this, she was originally built as a cargo ship in Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, and launched on 22 August 1914 and she survived both world wars! She first entered the passenger trade in 1948.
 
 
In 1952 she was acquired by Costa who re-engined and refurbished her, putting her back into service as the Franca C. Dolous is not a large vessel, and the Franca C soldiered on until disposed of in the 1970’s.
 
 
She was acquired by GBA and from then on she roamed the world, welcoming thousands of visitors wherever she went. She not only sold books though, but missionary teams went out into local communities to do their work and to bring a message of hope to the people that they encountered.
 
She was crewed by an all volunteer crew who paid to work on board her, and it was a very successful union between an old ship and an eager and dedicated workforce.
 
 
 
Once on board you could see her age, her lifeboat davits definitely being from a previous era. It was also said that in parts her plates were very thin and you could literally put your finger through them, but somehow I doubt it. American built ships were built very strongly, and she was very well maintained even though there was a limited budget available. I know I bought books on board her that day, and when I left I had a feeling that just maybe one day our paths would cross again.
 
My next encounter I cannot date positively, although I do recall the trip. My trusty ship book gives the date as 11 November 1993, but she was only in Durban from 24 November till 13 December, which means we probably saw her on 2 December when we were there for Marco Polo.
 
It was an important year for Doulos too as she was in Cape Town from 28 April to 15 November where she had major electrical work done, converting her from DC to AC as well as a much welcomed drydocking. The work was probably done by volunteers too, and she was often waived port duties by port authorities.   In total she spent 9 months of the year in South African waters.
 
The images I have of her are not as good as those I took before, in fact the difference may be related to the weather.
 
It was hard to say whether anything changed on board. I do know that the South African courtesy flag that she was flying would soon be on its way out.
 
 
 
 
She came to South Africa three more times before she was withdrawn from service in 2009, and her statistics are very impressive for the time that she was in service with GBA. Sadly though she would be doomed by SOLAS 2010, and faced with a large repair bill it was decided that the venerable ex freighter had reached the end of the line.
 
Or had she?
 
On March 18, 2010,  she became the property of  BizNaz Resources International
Pte Ltd in Singapore who planned to preserve the ship under the name Doulos Phos,  (Servant Light), In September 2013, she was towed from Singapore to  Batam, Indonesia to be refurbished before being  moving to the Island of Bintan to be part of a hotel resort. Whether these plans ever come to fruition, it is difficult to say, but somehow she may surprise us all, after all, she has been around over 100 years!
 
© DRW 2010-2018. Moved and recreated images 11/03/2016
Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:03

Royal Viking Queen. A personal view

The Royal Viking Line is no more, but the legacy of their ships does live on. They were an upmarket cruise line and had very modern and pricey vessels. They also called in South Africa, usually on round Africa voyages. One of their new buildings was Royal Viking Queen, and we had an invite to see her.
 
Company postcard

Company postcard

My trusty ship visit books lists her as calling in Durban on 28 November 1992, and we were there when she arrived.
 
 
First impressions were of a small modern ship, and not really the sort of ship that would appeal to somebody like me who prefers something more traditional. She was built as one of 3 sisters, for Seabourn Cruises, (Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Pride), but she ended up being completed for Royal Viking instead as Royal Viking Queen.
 
 
She had not been in service very long either, so we would get a good look at her workmanship too. The visit had been arranged beforehand, and we were well prepared with a plaque to present to the Master on the occasion of the call, and I often wonder if it still exists somewhere.
 
 
Once on board our jaws dropped because she was stunning. Very modern, but done with good taste. We had been given a small press pack to aid us on our walking tour of her, but as usual we headed down below and worked our way upwards,
 
 
The one pervading memory I have of her was a lobby that was painted to resemble a four funnel liner, if you looked forward you would see 2 funnels, and if you looked aft the remaining 2 funnels. It was very well done and I really regret not having pics of it.
 
Her upper decks were clean and shiney with chrome and glass and light woodwork, there was more of a feel of yacht to her as opposed to a ship, and I believe that was the original intention.
 
On her foredeck was a jacuzzi that must have been quite nice although it was literally on the front porch of the bridge and the forward suites. She also had a platform that could be lowered from her stern for people to enjoy water sports in ports where she did not go alongside.

She was really a pretty ship inside, but I think she may have been somewhat stuffy for anybody that did not come from the right background.

The master was impressed with our plaque and handed us each a Royal Viking keyring as a memento, but alas, a burglary in 1999 saw most of my collection of those mementos stolen. I also recall that he had injured his hand and was very apologetic about the many plasters that his hand was covered in.

 
And then it was time for us to leave, and we hung around to watch her sail. The sun was starting to go down by then so we got those low light shots so beloved of Durban in good weather.
 
 
She was quite a sight sailing from Durban, the sort of ship that you wish you could sail on, but know you will never be able to afford to.
 

 

I never saw her again after that, however in 2008 while in Hong Kong, I saw her sister: Seabourn Spririt.

She is still afloat somewhere, and as far as I am aware sailing under the name Seabourn Legend, having returned to the company that she was originally ordered for. She is due to enter service with Windstar in May 2015. Royal Viking Line ceased to exist in 1994. However, all of their ships are still in service.

© DRW. 2015-2018. Created 10/02/2015,  Moved and images recreated 10/03/2016

Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:08

Kazakhstan II, a personal view

I have 14 February 1994 down as being a good day for shipwatching in Durban because there were two interesting callers in the port. The first being Sagafjord, and the second: Kazakhstan II
 
Operator postcard

Operator postcard

Originally one of five sisters of the Belorussiya class (Belorussiya, Gruziya, Azerbaizhan, Kazakhstan,  Kareliya)   these ships were quite rare to see in South Africa, although there is a post card of one of them in Cape Town, (date unknown). 
 
The Kazakhstan II was interesting because in October 1992 she had an accident while in dry dock and it was thought she would have been broken up, instead she was refitted and re-entered service as Kazakhstan II.  Originally launched as Belorrusiya in 6 March 1974, the sisters were more cruise-ferries with car decks than dedicated cruise ships. At the time of her call she was being operated by the German operator Delphin Seereisen on a round Africa voyage. 
 
 
We were fortunate to go out on the pilot boat to bring her in, and she was somewhat of a boxey ship with an unattractive funnel. In fact I was not sure what to make of a German operated, Finnish built, former Soviet flagged cruise-ferry!
 
 

Looking at pics of her now, she wasn’t an unattractive ship, but definitely in a different league to Sagafjord!  Her stern door was still there from her days as a cruise-ferry, and maybe it is the lack of curves that did gave her an almost severe and business-like look.
 

  
 
Looking back at my pics, most of what I took were of her at sea from the pilot boat, but almost nothing of her coming alongside, which probably means I did not have too much film left to mess around with. In the old days it was expensive to take pics, and you were limited by how many rolls of film you had with you, I also used to shoot slides so it is also possible that I did not scan too many of the images of her.
 
It is also very possible that I had shot too many images of Sagafjord, or was saving my shots for Sagafjord. It was a long time ago.
 
Once on board we did the grand tour, and I seem to recall not being too impressed by her interiors. She looked almost bland compared to some ships I had seen, functional, but not fancy. I also remember that we were served drinks by a stewardess and we all remarked to each other that  that she seemed very tired and somewhat underdressed. I also have a feeling there were restrictions on our photography on board. But I have an image of her aft deck to squish that theory. 
 

And then we were leaving, and I know we never saw her sail, so I am afraid the story ends there. But my all pervading impression of bland still stands, but I am glad that I did get the opportunity to go on board, because even though she was one of 5 sisters, she was still a successful ship in her own right. 

 
It is possible that she is still afloat somewhere, I know, the ships did not really seem to settle into regular service, and Kazakhstan was beached in Jan 2012 for breaking up. However, it could be that SOLAS 2010 did add a nail into their careers, but it is also possible that there are still out there.
© DRW 2015-2018 Created 16/02/2015, moved and images recreated 11/03/2016.
Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:05

MV Royal Zulu

The long laid up Royal Zulu was resident in Durban harbour for many years. Originally brought across to Durban she was destined to become THE party ship, operating short cruises and with a disco, gambling, partying and all manner of what were nefarious activities to the previous government.

Royal Zulu in happier days

Royal Zulu in happier days

Alas, she fell foul of the licensing authorities and ruffled quite a few feathers. She was promptly arrested after very little service and ended up alongside a disused quay at the far end of the container berth where she slowly decayed for many years. She was eventually joined by the dormant RA Leigh, and the pair of them rusted away in silence.

Built as Santa Maria de la Nieves, she was one of 3 sister ships (Santa Maria de la Candelaria, Santa Maria de la Nieves, Santa Maria del Pino ) built in 1967 by Union Naval de Levante, Valencia, for inter-island services in the Canary Islands and the Balearics for Trasmediterránea of Spain.

Royal Zulu as built

Royal Zulu as built

Eventually she was sold for breaking up and we heard a story that one of her lifeboats eventually found its way to Johannesburg. In April 1987  we got on board her and it was a very strange feeling to be board this dead ship. Everything was as it was left, and I climbed the mast and poked around inside her, but we could not get below decks or onto the bridge, I always looked out for her I was in Durban, because realistically she was a part of Durban.

More information on Trasmediterránea man be found at Simplon Postcards

© DRW 2004-2018. Recreated 02/04/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 19:47

MV Infanta

It was very rare that we got a visit to a Safmarine vessel, and when the invitation came to visit the Infanta in Durban we jumped at the chance. Unfortunately I do not have a date for the visit, but I suspect it may have been at the same time as our Thor 1 visit. (01/05/1988) as I have an image of Infanta taken from Thor 1.

Infanta alongside

Infanta alongside

The image above may have been taken in 1988 too. I do recall she had a very long gangway and one of the people visiting with us went backwards down the gangway. She was very well appointed inside and her crew facilities were excellent. The ship was built in 1983 as MS Taurus (OIPU, LR/IMO 8122830) for Finland Steamship Company Ltd and that could explain her accommodation. Initially I did not find out too much on the ship, but I was contacted by Hans Heesakkers in December 2016 who pointed me to where I could find more information and close the book on her.

She did have a long life (and a number of names and owners) and was finally sent to the breakers in 2013 under the name Aalborg. Her sister: Recife, similarly has a history page, and she too was broken up in 2013.  

The following information about the Infanta was kindly sent to me by Cameron Mackenzie:

O.N. (18360-Li) 17848-88/IMO 8122830 Call Sign: 3EHE6 Port of Registry: Panama.

Tonnage: 24 518g/11 709n/37 425 S.Dwt Dim: 182,5 x 29,5 x 16,00 m / Draught Maximum 11,53 m. 5 Hold (9 hatch, 1 x single/4 x twin) general purpose ice strengthened 1104 TEU vessel fitted with 1 x 35/4 x 25t cranes, strengthened for heavy cargoes. Grain Capacity 42 012m³ / Bale Capacity 40 276m³

Engines: two stoke single acting – 6 cylinder 660 x 1400 Sulzer 6RLB66 12 820bhp (9 430 kW) Four blade controllable pitch propeller – 15 knots – 35,5 tonne fuel/d. 114 mt (do) / 1802 mt (hvf) Engine built by Sumitomo Heavy Industry Ltd., Tamashima/Japan. Fitted with 1 x 1080 kW shaft generator/2 x 1000 kW diesel generators.

01/12/1982 Keel laid as “TAURUS” (Y.N. 84) by Nippon Kokan K.K., Tsu/Japan for Finska Angfartygs A/B (EFFOA) (Finland Steamship Company Ltd.) Helsinki/Finland.

25/02/1983 Launched.

01/07/1983 Completed by builders Nippon Kokan K.K. Tsu/Japan as “TAURUS” (FIN) (Y.N. 84) (Call Sign: OIPU) for Finska Angfartygs A/B (EFFOA) (Finland Steamship Co. Ltd.,) Helsinki/Finland. Under the management of Oy Finncarriers AB Helsingfors/Finland.

1987 Transferred to Bahama registry, same name “TAURUS” (BHS).

20/01/1988 Acquired by South African Marine Corp. Ltd., Cape Town for $16 million from EFFOA and placed under the ownership of Argonaut Shipping Company Inc., Cayman Islands, renamed “INFANTA” (PAN) in Lisbon.

09/02/1988 Arrived in East London ex-Lisbon dry-dock to commence loading for the Safbank (S.A. – U.S.A) Service.

13/12/1994 Sold to mainland Chinese interests for $14,5m. Dry-docked 16-17/11/1994 in Bethship Beaumont, USA for inspection and handed over 16/12/1994 to Sinotrans (Wah Tung Shipping Agency Co. Ltd., Hong Kong), under ownership of Great Trans Shipping Inc., Panama, renamed “GREAT TRANS” (PAN).

1999 Time chartered to Egon Oldendorff/Lübeck/Germany, renamed “LEOPOLD OLDENDORFF” (HKG) , and transferred to Hong Kong registry, under ownership Great Trans Shipping Inc., Hong Kong.

04/2001 Renamed “GREAT TRANS” (HKG) by Great Trans Shipping Inc., Hong Kong.

24/07/2001 Sold to Navalmar (UK) Ltd. (,Navalmar (UK) Ltd., manager) London and renamed “TAURUS” (GBR).

04/2003 Transferred to Cayman Island registry, same named, “TAURUS (CYM).

06/2005 Transferred to Panamanian registry, under ownership of Kensington Shipping Corporation, same name “TAURUS” (PAN).

06/2005 Sold by Navalmar (UK) Ltd., Cayman Islands to Filscan Shipping Inc., Manila/Philippines (Roymar Ship Management Inc., TBS Ship Management Inc.,) and renamed “MAYA PRINCESS”(PHL) under Philippine registry.

13/03/2007 Transferred to Panamanian registry under ownership of Kensington Shipping Corporation, same name “MAYA PRINCESS” (PAN).

14/03/2007 Sold by Filscan Shipping Inc., Manila/Philippines to Dannebrog Rederi A/S, Rungstedt Kyst, (Dannebrog Rederi A/S, manager) Denmark) under ownership of Kensington Shipping Corp. Gibraltar (British), and renamed “AALBORG” (GIB).

20/10/2009 Management transferred to MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping, Hamburg/Germany.

10/01/2010 Management transferred to Vineta Bereederungs MBH, Hamburg/Germany.

13/04/2013 Arrived Alang/India having been sold for demolition. 15/04/2013 Beached and dismantling commenced.

 

Taken from another ship

Taken from another ship

Ready to go on board for our visit

Ready to go on board for our visit

I was not able to visit her sister Recife, although she was somewhat of a regular in and out of Durban.  

Once again Cameron Mackenzie provided me with the following on Recife:

O.N. (18347-NY) 18244-89 / IMO 8122828 Call Sign: 3EGR6 Port of Registry: Panama

Tonnage: 1988 – 24 891g/11 816n/37 425 S.Dwt. 1996 – 25 005g/10 741n/37 425 D.Dwt. Dim: 182,5 x 29,5 x 16,00 m / Draught Maximum 11,53 m

Eng: two stoke single acting – 6 cylinder 660 x 1400 Sulzer 6RLB66 12 820bhp (9 430 kW) Four blade controllable pitch propeller – 15 knots – 35,5 tonne fuel/d. Fuel 114 mt(do) / 1802 mt(hvf). Engine built by Sumitomo Heavy Industry Ltd., Tamashima/Japan. Fitted with 1 x 1080 kW shaft generator/2 x 1000 kW generators. 1104 TEU vessel fitted with 1 x 35/4 x 25t cranes, strengthened for heavy cargoes. Grain Capacity 41 012m³ / Bale Capacity 40 276m³. 5 Hold (9 hatch, 1 x single/4 x twin) general purpose ice strengthened

27/04/1983 Keel laid as “TELLUS” (Y.N. 85) by Nippon Kokan K.K., Tsu/Japan for Finska Angfartygs A/B (EFFOA) (Finland Steamship Company Ltd.) Helsinki/Finland.

12/09/1983 Launched. 

31/01/1984 Completed by builders Nippon Kokan K.K. Tsu/Japan as “TELLUS” (Fi) (Y.N. 85) (Call Sign: OIPV) for Finska Angfartygs A/B (EFFOA) (Finland Steamship Co. Ltd.,) Helsinki/Finland. Under the management of Oy Finncarriers AB Helsingfors/Finland.

1987 Transferred to Bahama registry, same name “TELLUS” (BHS).

08/01/1988 Acquired by South African Marine Corporation. Ltd., Cape Town for $16 million from EFFOA and placed under the ownership of Argonaut Shipping Company Inc., Cayman Islands, renamed “RECIFE” (PAN) in New York.

31/01/1988 Arrived in Cape Town from New York on the Safbank (SA – U.S.A.) Service.

01/02/1988 Naming ceremony in Table Bay Harbour by sponsor Mrs Gillian Van As.

10/09/1991 Safbank Line announced that a fire on board the “RECIFE”(PAN) on 07/09/1991 is believed to have started in a sealed container. Spreading, causing damage to both ship and cargo. Fire sustained by ship’s personnel without injury, vessel proceeding to the scheduled port of Wilmington(USA), where ship and cargo will be surveyed. In the interest of cargo, the vessel’s owners have declared General Average.

12/1995 Transferred to Safbulk and commenced conversion into a tar carrier, installation of two 3000 mt cargo tanks for liquid pitch with heating coils fitted for carriage at 220ºc with a pump rate of 300mt/h.

09/02/1996 Renamed “NTABENI” (PAN) by Mrs. Judy Barbour, wife of Alusaf M.G. Rob Barbour, general cargo ship / tar carrier with 4 holds / 2 holds with wing tanks fitted with heating coils, 2 holds.

07/04/1999 Acquisition of South African Marine Corporation Ltd., Cape Town (SAFMAN)(Non-Liner Division) by Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A. Piraeus/Greece, sale back dated to 01/01/1999, “NTABENI” (PAN) sold. 11/2000 Transferred to Niagara Marine S.A. (Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A. Piraeus/Greece) Panama, same name “NTABENI” (PAN).

11/2001 Transferred to Wexford Maritime S.A. (Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A. Piraeus/Greece) Panama, same name “NTABENI” (PAN).

27/03/2013 Arrived Alang/India for demolition. 28/03/2013 Beached Alang and dismantling commenced.

Sister ship Recife underway in Durban

Sister ship Recife underway in Durban

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/03/2015, updated 06/12/2016 and 18/12/2016. Special thanks for Cameron MacKenzie and Hans Heesakkers for additional information. 

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 19:48

Thor 1

One of the regular callers in our waters was the Thor 1, operated by Canadian Christensen Canadian African Lines (CCAL), they traded between South Africa between 1948 and 2000.

Thor 1 in Durban

Thor 1 in Durban

We had a visit organised to Thor 1 on 01 May 1988, and I was very impressed by the ship, she was a beauty inside, with very comfortable accommodation and crew facilities. I do recall her master was Scandinavian, and very grave and dour, but friendly enough. He was proud of his vessel but deplored how dirty her paint was becoming.

In 1986, I was in Durban for a holiday and spent a day on the tug Coenie De Villiers, and one of the jobs we did was removing her sister: Thorscape,  from the drydock. It was a really thrilling event for me, because I never expected to get to see that level of action on a tugboat.

Thorscape

Thorscape

Both vessels were built by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co, Ltd. Tamano, Japan, and were of 14,794 GRT. Thor 1 was built in 1977 and Thorscape 1978. They were multipurpose cargo ships and had a reefer capacity of 2,000 tonnes of fruit, as well as 400 TEU’s. They were disposed of in the late 1990’s. CCAL was bought out by CP Ships in 2000.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:45

Sea Trader

Returning from a cruise in 1988, we had some time to kill and came across Sea Trader alongside. She was on her last voyage, and was in a very poor condition on board. We were shown around, and one of her cranes was being used to remove another crane. Rust had taken hold, and there was a feeling of despair coming from the mate who was showing us around.

She was built as Parakoola as one of 3 sisters ordered by Swedish Transatlantic for the Australasian trade. She was renamed Sestriere for a spell before being transferred to her owners South African service in ’73 and renamed Temnaren. Sold in 1980 she was renamed Venus Del Mar and resold to her last owners in 1988, renamed Venus Trader and later Sea Trader.

Seatrader in Durban

Sea Trader in Durban

Beautiful wood paneled bridge

Beautiful wood panelled bridge

Stern detail

Stern detail

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 29/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:45

Rosa S

Built in Kherson in 1969 for Kuwait Shipping Co. as Al Odailiah, she was one of 13 in the class. Photographed in December 1988, she was a regular caller in South Africa under the MSC livery. She was owned by Compania Naviera Panarosa SA of Panama and was scrapped at Alang in 1992.

Rosa S crossing the harbour

Rosa S crossing the harbour

Ships Stamp. Rosa S.

Ships Stamp. Rosa S.

Rosa S alongside

Rosa S alongside

Rosa S (possibly 1987)

Rosa S (possibly 1987)

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 21/02/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:41

Durban Shipwatch: Avalon

Alongside Ocean Terminal

Alongside Ocean Terminal

When we arrived in Durban in March 1992, I was very happy to see the Avalon alongside. Recently retired from her St Helena role, she was in Durban under the name Avalon, and theoretically starting a series of voyages carrying passengers on cruises to the Indian Ocean Islands. She was berthed alongside at Ocean Terminal, and had to vacate that berth as the QE2 was due to occupy it on the next day. By some skullduggery we managed to wangle a short hop across the harbour on board her.

What we did not know at the time was that this small vessel would never get to make any money and would end up laid up in Durban until she was eventually sold for further trading in the Indian Ocean Islands.

I did however have a soft spot for her, and a part of me really wanted to sail on this mini mailship. As RMS St Helena she had a loyal following, and she was a real oldie that was way too small for the service she was in.  Following her Falklands service she was succeeded by the new RMS St Helena, a ship I was fortunate enough to sail on in 1993.

In service as RMS St Helena (Postcard view)

In service as RMS St Helena (Postcard view)

Following our trip across the harbour we were fortunate to be invited to view the QE2 arrival and sailing from her decks. At this point we were hoping that we would manage a visit to the QE2, and I could not help remember that at that point when she arrived there would be two Falklands Veterans in Durban at the same time.

Our personal viewing platform

Our personal viewing platform

The boat deck

The boat deck

Sun deck

Sun deck, waiting for QE2

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

View from the bridge wing

View from the bridge wing

And then it was time for the QE2 to arrive, and we posed for a shot with Avalon and the QE2 in the background. You can see how small the old RMS really was, but she was still one of my favourites.

The gang all ready to head off to the QE2

The gang all ready to head off to the QE2

The ship visit did not happen and eventually some of us returned to the RMS to glower and grumble at the ship that we would label “the other ship” for a year or two. But, the RMS had been friendlier, providing us with a place to view the Cunarder sailing later that afternoon.

And the Avalon?

Alongside in Durban

Alongside in Durban

Things did not go well for her, she was moved to the layup berths at Salisbury Island and then put on the market. The venture to take her cruising had failed, and high prices were probably to blame for that, Realistically though, she was a tired old ship, worn out by the long voyages she made between the UK and South Africa, as well as her Falklands service as a minesweeper mothership.

When we returned to Durban on a later trip we found her berthed around the corner from N Shed, her hull was a darker colour than when we had last seen her. It is possible that she had just been sold by then.

Alongside in later years

Alongside in later years

And I would see her once more as she was getting ready for her new role in Mauritius, under the name Indianoceanique. I never saw her after that, and I heard that she was broken up in at Alang in 1996.

Indianoceanique in Durban

Indianoceanique in Durban

This image may have been taken in 1994 as the Achille Lauro was still afloat, yet it was taken off the back of a cruise ship, and I suspect it was from Kazakhastan II.

The RMS left me with a hunkering for her replacement, and she too is a fine ship and I am glad I did get to sail on her.  Sadly though, the former Northland Prince/St Helena has faded into history, although I have never forgotten her.

© DRW 1992-2018. Created 05/02/2015

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 07:58

Durban Shipwatch: Vistafjord

Visited March 1990 in Durban. I was not really impressed by her though. The ship visit was a bit of a damp squib too,  and the weather was not particularly nice either.

Approaching Durban

Approaching Durban

From the North Pier

From the North Pier

Arriving in Durban

In Durban and approaching Ocean Terminal

She stayed overnight, and we went down to try get night shots of her. I don’t know why I have no sailing shots of her, logically there should be, but possibly we returned to JHB shortly after we took the night shots.

Vistafjord by night

Vistafjord by night

I wanted a pic of her name all lit up

I wanted a pic of her name all lit up

Official Cunard Line postcard of Vistafjord in happier times

I would see her once again in 2013, sailing under the name Saga Ruby, and she really looked beautiful, although she was in her last days of commercial service as a cruise ship. She was much more memorable in Southampton than I remembered her when she came to Durban as Vistafjord. She was also the first “Cunarder” that I visited.

Saga Ruby sailing from Southampton 2013

*Update 12/04/2017*
On 12 April 2017 the former Vistafjord was beached at Alang for demolition. 
 

DRW © 1990-2019. Added to Blog 05/02/2015, missing image replaced 23/08/2019

Updated: 23/08/2019 — 20:32
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